Baby Naan & Whipped Feta with Tomato-Basil-Kalamata Salad

We love naan because it’s soft and flavorful and it’s the perfect bread to accompany curries or other saucy dishes. It’s also a natural for all of the Mediterranean flavors, which just happen to be our favorites! We get a little excited when it comes to feta cheese, tomatoes, basil and olives … Greek olives! For this appetizer, we made baby naan and topped each with whipped feta and a salad of tomatoes, basil chiffonade and Kalamata olives. It’s delicious and the perfect Christmas appetizer with the red, green and white colors! But, it’s also fantastic any day of the year. We especially like to serve this as a side dish to grilled lamb or chicken.

We’ve made naan using many different recipes over the years, but our favorite so far is this instant no yeast naan from Upbeet Anisha. Her recipe is made with simple ingredients like flour, salt, baking powder, water, olive oil and yogurt. It’s really easy to make, too, which is always a plus, given hectic workday schedules. It’s soft and tender, and forms just the perfect air bubbles while cooking. While Anisha’s original recipe is vegan, calling for nondairy yogurt, we use nonfat Greek yogurt and love both the texture and taste. Our favorite yogurt is Esti, and it can be hard to find, but if you can get your hands on some, you’ll love it. It is absolutely superb all by itself, but in this naan recipe it’s gorgeous! The yogurt gives the naan a luscious smell and texture. The result is soft, aromatic, and delicious! We use it for the whipped feta, as well.

Baby Naan & Whipped Feta with Tomato-Basil-Kalamata Salad

Miniature naan, topped with whipped feta and fresh tomatoes, Kalamata olive and basil salad
Servings 12 Baby Naan
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 5 mins

Equipment

  • Standing Mixer
  • Cast iron griddle

Ingredients

Anisha’s Naan

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt Esti is our current favorite brand!
  • 1/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp. olive oil

Whipped Feta

  • 5 oz. feta cheese in brine, drained about 1 cup
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt Esti is our favorite brand
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Tomato Basil & Kalamata Salad

  • 10 each cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 3/4 cup Kalamata olives, drained and chopped
  • 3 large basil leaves, julienned or chiffonade

Instructions

Baby Naan

  • Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a mixing bowl. Blend with a fork. Add yogurt, olive oil and the water, and mix just until everything is well-incorporated and you can form the mixture into a ball. Don’t over mix.
  • Place dough on a floured board and if it is still a bit sticky, just knead a few seconds with enough flour to make it smooth. Divide dough into 12 pieces and form each into a ball shape. Allow the dough balls to rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes. You can let it rest longer, too. When we’ve made this recipe, we’ve let the dough rest, covered, for up to an hour at room temperature before cooking it. 
  • Before you cook the bread, whip the feta by putting it in your mixer bowl along with the olive oil and beat with the whisk attachment until creamy and as smooth as possible. Then add the yogurt and whip until light and fluffy. If you don’t have a standing mixer, just use a hand-held beater or food processor. Chop the Kalamata olives, tomatoes and basil and set aside in a separate bowl. (You can do all of this ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve.)
  • When you’re ready to cook the bread, preheat the cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the whole surface of the skillet is hot, roll out the dough balls into circles about 6-inches in diameter and about ¼-inch thick.
  • Put a little bit of olive oil or cooking spray in the pan and place the dough round in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, or until you see the bottom beginning to turn golden brown and small air bubbles form. Flip and cook the other side for the same amount of time, or until it looks perfect! 
  • Note* If you make these all at once and want to keep them warm, you can preheat a second cast iron skillet and transfer the cooked ones to that to keep warm, or keep them wrapped in foil in a warm oven until ready to serve. 
    To store, wrap cooled naan in waxed paper and store in a baggie or airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Whipped Feta

  • Crumble the feta into the bowl of your standing mixer along with the olive oil. Beat together until the feta cheese becomes creamy. Add the yogurt and whip together until light and fluffy. Don’t worry if there are still some lumps of feta because its hard to get it perfectly smooth depending on the moisture content of the cheese.
    If you don’t have a standing mixer, just use a hand-held beater or a food processor. Chop the Kalamata olives, tomatoes and basil and set aside in a separate bowl. (You can do all of this ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to serve.)

Assembly

  • Lay the naan out on your serving platter, drop a healthy spoonful of the whipped feta and top with the veggies!
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean

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